We had spent the last 20 years of our young lives together. As he laid in bed, unable to recognize my voice, I could only think of the beginning…
We were married in the small church that his parents grew up in; I wasn’t much of a church person but I loved him enough to concede to his parents wishes. Yes, his parents wanted us to be join together in their church. His father was the pastor and officiated our wedding. It was such a beautiful day in early spring and I remember the details as if it were yesterday.
We were surrounded by our families and close friends; it made for a very intimate wedding. The days preceding were spent with my female relatives and friends, decorating the church, cooking, cleaning, and enjoying the camaraderie of friendships that have long since faded. I wore a vintage lace gown, passed down from generation to generation. It has blessed the marriages of the women before me and in turn, would be the start of a wonderful marriage. The dress now hangs in the back of my closet, in the hopes that it will one day be worn again by my daughter.
He doesn’t remember the wedding; I’ve shown him the pictures but all he can do is blink. I know he wants to recall the auspicious occasion but his memory fails him. I try not to be heartbroken but I am forced to turn away before the tears fall. His hearing is fine, but he cannot move and will never speak again, according to the doctors. He has aged rapidly while I spend my waking moments taking care of his needs. It’s been this way for the last year. Dr. Pryor says he could go any day now. Am I selfish for wanting his suffering to end now?
The girls haven’t been to visit in the last six months. My eldest, Brooke, hasn’t come home in nearly 8 months. She’s been busy with school, she says. Wendy, just a few years younger, came home for a week in May but hasn’t visited since. She’s at school the next town over. I think the girls don’t want to see their dad in his current condition; hell, I deal with it every day and I don’t want to see him like that. I want to remember my husband in all his vibrancy – full of life and joy.
I want to remember how he used to chase the girls around the yard. He would stop as soon as he saw me, to come over and kiss me. The girls never saw anything but love from their father. He was the kindest, most generous man they knew. He still is that man but he’s trapped inside a body that was destroyed by an accident.